In our continuing series of “Interview with a Traveler” we chat with Beth from Besudesu Abroad, who has fallen in love with traveling around Asia.
What’s the best bit of travel advice you have ever received?
The best travel advice I’ve received is to travel while you’re young and to travel without regrets. There have been many times I almost skipped out on an activity because it put me out of my comfort zone or because I was afraid. I try to always pause and think if I’ll regret not doing something, and it always helps me push myself to say yes to new adventures!
Did you make any rookie mistakes when you first started traveling?
My first time abroad, towards the end of my trip I tried to see as much as possible in a very short amount of time. I was constantly moving, and as a result I was constantly tired and irritated.
I went from a 5-hour plane ride straight into a 12-hour bus ride, which left me sleepless for almost 48 hours. Getting a quick nights rest at a hostel, I toured around a big city for 3 days before taking another 12-hour bus ride home and then hopping on a 15-hour international flight a few days later and finally, a 3-hour car drive the next morning. By the end of it, I didn’t even want to think about traveling.
Now it’s mainly just slow, long-term travel.
What has been your most valuable lesson learned from travel?
To do what you love. I never really wanted the normal office job, but I was still pretty convinced it would be my destiny. Since I’ve started traveling I’ve come to realize just how important it is to do what you want to do and to do something you are passionate about. Traveling has opened the door to so many opportunities; it has made me reevaluate both my personal and career goals.
You travel slow and work as you go; what is your advice for others who want to travel this way?
Although it’s great way to work while traveling, teaching English is not your only opportunity abroad. I originally took a job teaching English strictly as a means to allow me to live in Asia. I assumed since I couldn’t speak the native language, I was pretty much limited to teaching. Pretty quick into my contract I knew teaching wasn’t something I wanted to pursue as a career and then I found myself stuck in a job I didn’t particularly like for the next year. So do your research before you jump into a job you know isn’t for you because you think you have no other options.
Have you conquered any fears while traveling?
Every time I travel I work a little more towards conquering my fear of flying. In the past year I’ve taken about 15 flights, and while I’ve become a much better flyer, I still haven’t fully conquered that fear. Someday I hopefully will!
What is the best and worst thing about traveling as a couple?
The best thing is being able to share all your special travel memories with the person you’re going to spend the rest of your life with. Traveling together has definitely made us a better couple.
The worst thing is that I’m definitely the more wanderlust stricken half in our relationship, so sometimes I feel like I’m just dragging my fiancé around. I also prefer slightly faster travel, whereas he’d rather lie around relaxing all day, so sometimes our travel styles tend to clash.
In what ways, if any, has travel changed you?
Travel has changed me in so many ways, and I’m 100% better because of it. I can’t even begin to list all of the reasons, and I suppose I probably haven’t even realized half of them. A few of the bigger ways travel has changed me is giving me a new direction in life, making me more patient, more confident, and less materialistic!
Fast Fun Five
If you could only describe yourself as one would it be: beach bum, city slicker or country bumpkin?
Being raised in Chicago I’m usually a city slicker, but given the opportunity I would quick become a beach bum!
If you could travel back in time, which era and place would you go to and why?
Late 19th century in Montmartre. This was the height of entertainment and art in France.
If you could travel with one celebrity, who would it be and why?
Elijah Wood. I’d love to go to New Zealand with him so that he could show me all the awesome LotR filming locations and we could just nerd out together. Plus, he just seems like he’d be a fun guy to travel with in general.
What was the first overseas trip you took?
A study abroad trip to Japan.
If you had to chose a country other than your own to settle down in, where would it be and why?
I actually really enjoy Hong Kong, and could see settling down here. It’s the perfect blend of East and West, as well as an awesome travel hub.
If you are a seasoned traveler and would like to take part in our interview series please express your interest via firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you!